The Lover (Nugegoda).

If Srina Palace is the king of Fancy Gift Items (see Borella Underpass and The Souq as well), the Lover is the queen – ie. prettier and better presented.

The Lover is a hugely popular local shop, selling an abundance of plastic and shiny jewelled goods. Earrings, bracelets, rings, phone bling, handbags, shoes…you name it. And they have over 50 branches across the country. Unlike Srina Palace which is a bright tangle of hair product, gems and jewellery, the Lover is often more orderly and better laid out.

Fancy gifts may not be to everyones taste, but they’re popular in this country, and I actually quite like the Lover. You may have to sift through mounds of glittery madness before finding the odd nice item – but sometimes you do, and the shop is also a good source for cheap kitsch.

I purchased some kitschy, blinging accoutrements for my phone – two rather twee hanging decorations and a large diamante sticker to go on the back. All together this came to just Rs. 240 – Rs. 60 and Rs. 80 for the hangy things and Rs. 100 for the sticker. It looks pretty cool – perhaps not so appropriate for an adult, but definitely something a little sister would like.

The Lover has become fancier in the recent years. I remember it initially being more like Srina Palace, but now some of the stores are larger, neater and airconditioned – and they also have a professional looking website with some actually useful information. And despite the upgrade, the prices don’t seem to have changed much at all. Rings range between Rs. 50 and Rs. 100, phone accessories between Rs. 60 and Rs. 90, bangles and bracelets about Rs.35 – Rs.40, slippers Rs. 150 – Rs.200, etc. Not a bad place at all.

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